Technical isomorphism and organisational homogenisation

Connie K.W. Liu, Vincent S.K. Lai, Chen Shiuann-Shuoh, Chuang Yu-Wei

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The complexity of the political, regulatory, and technological changes confronting organisations forces them to make radical adaptations for survival and competitiveness. According to Institutional Theory, such adaptations force organisations to become more alike. Recent information technology developments in standardisation and integration through the implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system increase isomorphism even more. Typically, when an ERP system is implemented, organisations must decide whether to customise the software or to modify their business processes to the best practices delivered in the system. If organisations are not discriminative in their ERP implementation, then their business processes can become homogeneous over time, which could erode their competitive advantage in their industry. This phenomenon has been coined by information systems researchers as 'technical isomorphism', and although it has been identified, the mechanisms through which it occurs have seldom been investigated. We proposed that the impact of institutional pressures is not entirely direct, but rather, is mediated through the extent of ERP implementation. This relationship amongst insitutional pressures, homogeneity, and implementation extent has so far remained unexplored. Moreover, in analysing this relationship, the role of consultants in moderating the relationship is of critical importance and worthy of investigation.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2013
Event21st European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2013 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jun 20138 Jun 2013


Conference21st European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2013


  • Consultant involvement
  • Enterprise resources planning (ERP)
  • Implementation
  • Institutional theory


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